The creative nucleus of Iskald was formed by Simon Larsen and Aage André Krekling in Norway. According to their own website they bring us “extreme metal from the very North”. From my own experience I can tell you it can be incredibly cold in the north of Scandinavia, so let’s see whether I get frostbite from their latest record, entitled The Sun I Carried Alone.
I have to give them credit for conveying a frostbitten atmosphere with their specific branch of melodic black metal. There are some slight hints to Immortal present, but Iskald manage to give it their own twist. They’re not scared to look outside the barriers of black metal either. The doomy character of ‘Rigor Mortis’ and the use of acoustic guitars in ‘Burning Bridges’ is convincing evidence of that.
Another great asset of this band is their ability to write memorable songs, instead of focussing on being true, grim and cult. Their song writing skills are especially highlighted in ‘Under A Black Moon’, ‘Forged By Wolves’, ‘These Dreams Divine’ and the aforementioned ‘Burning Bridges’. The best part is that Iskald don’t rely on massive choirs and orchestras to create a certain atmosphere.
Sound wise The Sun I Carried Alone has a top notch production. It’s clear, it’s heavy, but it has enough (frost)bite to it that you know you’re dealing with genuine Norwegian Black Metal.
If you’re into intelligent melodic Black Metal with some real hooks and choruses, then The Sun I Carried Alone is the record to go for. Nice!